When trying to decide what to name her second album, Robin Grant chose "Off Label" for its relevance to her life and music.
"I'm a pharmaceutical sales rep in my professional life. Doctors often prescribe drugs 'off label,' so I likened love to being prescribed 'Off Label' in the song. It (the name) fit perfectly for us as a band because you can't really put a label on our sound because it is unique. In addition, as an independent artist, I funded my own project. I'm not on a record label, and I'm pretty proud of that," the singer says.
Grant and her band, The Standard, will play the 11 tracks on "Off Label" when the singer holds an album release party Sunday night, Nov. 17, at Songbirds. There will probably be some favorites from her first album, "Good Girl," in the mix as well.
Grant wrote all the lyrics and music on both albums. "Off Label" was recorded locally at Dead Birds Studio, produced by Dran Michael.
If you go
› What: “Off Label” album release party
› Where: Songbirds North, 41 Station St.
› When: 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17
› Admission: $20 general admission, $40 VIP
› For more information: 423-531-2473
"I write the melody line, lyrics and music for everything. I make chord charts for my band to play, and they make the music that was once in my head come to life. I do believe the magic occurs when the band adds its own unique touch to my songs," she says.
Robin Grant & The Standard is known for jazz performances. But she describes her musical style on this album as "Sophistipop" — a sophisticated pop music.
"I say this is my 'EPCOT album,' because it's full of flavor and international diversity: Latin, bossa nova, samba and very cinematic. It includes some very danceable songs. There is no theme in particular, but this is definitely a different sound for us," she describes.
"As with any storyteller, my songwriting has naturally matured. I was not trying as hard to just write for the jazz genre; rather, I was allowing the songs to be what they were meant to be. Some people have commented that this is an edgier sound. I do believe the material lends itself to more of a pop sound, but fans of the first album will still feel very much at home."
One of her favorites on the new record, "Things We Didn't Say," is a duet she wrote to perform with Landis Batts, her longtime friend and vocalist.
"We used to wait tables and sing together at The Station House restaurant," she says.
Grant says the majority of "Off Label" was written over the past three to four years. Then it took six months to record the album, because she was fitting studio time in between working full-time and her roles of wife and mother.
"Off Label" will sell for $12. However, guests attending Sunday night's release party will get an autographed album included in their ticket price of $20.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.